Sri Shirdi Sai Baba - The greatest Saint of India
Sri Shirdi Sai Baba - Life, Philosophy and Teachings
Sri Shirdi Sai Baba is one of the greatest
saints ever born in India
and has millions of devotees all over the World. Sri Shirdi Sai Baba is considered to be the
epitome of spiritual enlightenment and religious harmony. Baba strongly
believed in the uniformity of religion and was highly revered by Hindus and
Muslims alike. Some of his Hindu devotees believe that he was an incarnation of
Shiva or Dattatreya and others believed that he was a Sadguru. Sri Shirdi Sai
Baba spread the message of unity and brotherhood. He spoke the eternal truth
"Sabka Malik Ek" (One God governs all) and taught a moral code of
love, forgiveness, helping others, charity, contentment, inner peace, devotion
to God and guru. He taught them that all fate was determined by
karma and encouraged his disciples to live a good life.
He preached about the need of inner purity of mind and compassion to all. His philosophy ingrained 'Shraddha' meaning devotion and 'Saburi' meaning patience. In his life and teachings he tried to reconcile Hinduism and Islam. He practiced Hindu and Muslim rituals and his teachings combined elements of both Hinduism and Islam and tried to achieve communal harmony between these religions. Baba strongly opposed all sorts of persecutions on religious or caste background.
No authentic information is available about the birth and the early life of Sri Sai Baba. It is said that Sri Sai Baba left Shirdi after a period of three years and came back when He was twenty years old, accompanying a marriage party. After alighting near the Khandoba temple he was greeted with the words "Ya Sai" (welcome saint) by the temple priest Mhalsapati. The name Sai stuck to him and some time later he started being known as Sai Baba.The name 'Sai Baba' is a combination of the Persian word meaning ‘holy one’ and Indian word meaing ‘father’. Baba lived a very simple life. The Hindu – Muslim influence was seen in his teachings and life. He lived in an abandoned mosque which was rechristened as ‘Dwarakamai’ which means Mother Dwarika which is the birth place of Lord Sri Krishna and begged for alms till his last day. By appearance he was a Muslim fakir and wore a tattered kafni (long robe) and wrapped a cloth around his head with a large knot. But his ears were pierced which is a Hindu sign. He had intimate knowledge of both the Hindu holy books and the Quran and celebrated both Hindu and Muslim festivals. He regularly recited Hindu and Muslim prayers and encouraged his disciples to read and follow the holy books of their own religion. He took Mahasamadhi on October 15, 1918 at 2.30pm on which the Hindu Festival ‘Dassara’ and the Muslim Festival ‘Muharram’ fell on the same day.
Sri Sai Baba, I bow to you for influencing my thoughts. Jai Sai!
What the World needs now are people like him to influence their thoughts and spread the message of brotherhood and the realization of the ultimate truth that ‘One God governs all’.
Eleven Assurances of Sri Sai Baba to his Devotees
- Whosoever puts their feet on Shirdi soil, their sufferings will come to an end.
- The wretched and miserable will rise to joy and happiness as soon as they climb the steps of My Samadhi.
- I shall be ever active and vigorous even after leaving this earthly body.
- My tomb shall bless and speak to the needs of my devotees.
- I shall be active and vigorous even from my tomb.
- My mortal remains will speak from My tomb.
- I am ever living to help and guide all who come to Me, who surrender to Me and who seek refuge in Me.
- If you look at Me, I look at you.
- If you cast your burden on Me, I shall surely bear it.
- If you seek My advice and help, it shall be given to you at once.
- There shall be no want in the house of My devotee.
However, it is said that nobody can visit Shirdi without Sai's wish. Many people have confirmed it as true too.